People ask me, “Horus, how do you paint how you do?” And obviously, there’s not a simple answer to that question—I’ve been touching on technical things here and there with other articles. But the simplest answer to how I get the results I get is that I have the best tools I can find. This isn’t a sales article or anything, although I imagine it will come off that way. There’s an old saying, “A man is only as good as the tools he uses.” Or something like that. The point is, your results are going to be limited by the quality of the materials you make available to yourself, and with brushes in particular, high-end results are impossible without equally high-end tools due to the limitations of lesser products.
|This is a red sable. Cute, huh? |
This is what your brushes should be made of.
So first, let’s talk about brushes. A brush that’s suitable for miniature painting will be made of either synthetic hair, sable hair, or a blend of the two. The best brushes are going to be 100% sable hair. Sable hair comes to a natural point, and is very strong. A lot of brushes are described as sable brushes, but you should look closely at the packaging on the brush to determine if it is a blend of synthetic hair, and if not, what kind of sable hair is used. Games Workshop brushes, for example, are advertised as sable brushes, but are actually a blend of synthetic and male sable hair. Male sables’ hair is not as fine as the female’s, and is not as lasting for a fine brush. Usually, but not always, you can tell what kind of sable hair (and the amount of synthetic hair) in a brush by price—you won’t get a good, 100% sable brush for less than $20 usually. This is a case of getting what you pay for, though—a good sable brush will last for years if cared for properly.